Nothing good ever happens after midnight, Mel thought as she huddled under the blankets. She whimpered at a scratching sound against her window, but peeked out to see what caused it. The neighbor’s tabby peered back at her, and she sighed in relief. She clicked on her lamp, threw back the covers, and padded over to the window, navigating around the stuffed animals strewn about the floor. “Mr. Mittens, what are you doing out here at this time of night?”
She opened the pane, but Mr. Mittens didn’t jump into her room. He just stared at her, ears flicking. “What is it, sweetie?” Mel reached out to pet the orange fur, but the cat hissed at her, hair standing on end. “Fine! Be that way.”
She reached up to close the window, but a gloved hand filled with a soaked rag snaked around her mouth and nose, pulling her back. She struggled until darkness overtook her.
Tiny feet pattering on her chest stirred Mel to wakefulness. She opened her eyes to see a gray-furred mouse skittering on top of her body. She screamed, the mind-fog burned away by her fear and disgust. She bolted up, slapping at the violated area and hopping around as shudders racked her body.
When she calmed, she started looking at her surroundings. Her arms wrapped around her thin torso as she took in the slime-stained stone walls, the rough granite broken only by a small opening covered by thick, rusted bars. “Mommy? Daddy?” she whispered.
She shivered, her nightgown scant protection against the cold. A thin sliver of moonlight shone on a barred wooden door, and panic overtook her. She rushed over and pounded against the wood, screaming, “LET ME OUT! PLEASE!”
A small opening in the door squeaked open, familiar eyes peeking in, before disappearing again. “Mom? Mom! What’s going on?”
“IT IS NOT YET TIME. MIDNIGHT WILL REVEAL ALL.”
Mel’s head swung around, searching for the source of her father’s voice. “Dad? What does that mean?”
Silence answered her. She trudged into a corner, wet tracks on her cheeks. She slid down the wall and buried her face in her drawn-up knees. Sleep overcame her as confusion and grief ran their course.
A red-hot stab of pain slapped her out of sleep. She flopped to the floor, writhing as her bones cracked and popped. She bit back a scream, and blood poured down her chin from shredded lips. Fingernails shredded as she scratched the walls, crimson streaks marking her efforts.
She gagged as the smell of dirty fur assaulted her nostrils. A tiny mouse scurried across the floor. Mel howled and pounced, just missing the creature as another iron-hot burst shot through her chest. The door swung open and two bipedal wolf-like creatures panted in anticipation.
Mel growled and the larger wolf-creature barked at her. She lowered her head at the sound. The pair grinned and loped down the hallway. Mel, the brand-new werewolf pup, trotted after her parents.
There is also a special challenge feature. This week’s: incorporate at least three small, furry animals (Please don’t kill them).
The challenge opens late Monday and runs through Tuesday. The previous week’s Grand Champion provide the prompt and special challenge. They also serve as the judge for those prompts provided. Head on over and give it a look.
Hope you enjoy.
Happy Reading and Writing!